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Table of contents
Failures in MapReduce
Task Failure
Reasons for Task Failure
How to Overcome Task Failure
TaskTracker Failure
Reasons for TaskTracker Failure
How to Overcome TaskTracker Failure
JobTracker Failure
Reasons for JobTracker Failure
How to Overcome JobTracker Failure
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the failures in MapReduce?
What are the different types of failures in Hadoop?
What is the limitation of the MapReduce model?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Failures in Mapreduce

Author Muskan Sharma
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In today's era, MapReduce is a popular programming model used for the purpose of large-scale data processing. It has been widely adopted by many organizations, including tech giants like Google and Facebook. However, like any other software system, it is not immune to failures.

Failures in Mapreduce

This article will help you understand MapReduce, the challenges, and the solution to failure.


Hadoop MapReduce is a software framework that makes it simple to write applications that process massive volumes of data in parallel on large clusters of common hardware in a reliable, tolerant of failure manner.


MapReduce job typically divides the input data set into distinct pieces that are processed in parallel by the map jobs. The framework sorts the map outputs, subsequently fed into the reduction jobs. The job's input and output are typically saved in a file system. The framework manages task scheduling, task monitoring, and task re-execution.

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After Job

Failures in MapReduce

There are generally 3 types of failures in MapReduce.

  • Task Failure
  • TaskTracker Failure
  • JobTracker Failure

Fine! Let us discuss each given above in depth.

Failures in Mapreduce

Task Failure

In Hadooptask failure is similar to an employee making a mistake while doing a task. Consider you are working on a large project that has been broken down into smaller jobs and assigned to different employees in your team. If one of the team members fails to do their task correctly, the entire project may be compromised. Similarly, in Hadoop, if a job fails due to a mistake or issue, it could affect overall data processing, causing delays or faults in the final result.

Now let us look at why Task failure occurs and how to overcome this.

Reasons for Task Failure

Here are some reasons for Task failure.

Limited memory: A task can fail if it runs out of memory while processing data.

Failures of disk: If the disk that stores data or intermediate results fails, tasks that depend on that data may fail.

Issues with software or hardware: Bugs, mistakes, or faults in software or hardware components can cause task failures. 

How to Overcome Task Failure

Increase memory allocation: Assign extra memory to jobs to ensure they have the resources to process the data.

Implement fault tolerance mechanisms: Using data replication and checkpointing techniques to defend against disc failures and retrieve lost data.

Regularly update software and hardware: Keep the Hadoop framework and supporting hardware up to date to fix bugs, errors, and performance issues that can lead to task failures.

Alright!! Let us look at the other TaskTracker failure next.

TaskTracker Failure

TaskTracker in Hadoop is similar to an employee responsible for executing certain tasks in a large project. If a TaskTracker fails, it signifies a problem occurred while an employee worked on their assignment. This can interrupt the entire project, much as when a team member makes a mistake or encounters difficulties with their task, producing delays or problems with the overall project's completion. To avoid TaskTracker failures, ensure the TaskTracker's hardware and software are in excellent working order and have the resources they need to do their jobs successfully.

Now let us look at why TaskTracker failure occurs and how to overcome this.

Reasons for TaskTracker Failure

Here are some reasons for TaskTracker failure.

Hardware issues: Just as your computer's parts can break or stop working properly, the TaskTracker's hardware (such as the processor, memory, or disc) might fail or stop operating properly. This may prohibit it from carrying out its duties.

Software problems or errors: The software operating on the TaskTracker may contain bugs or errors that cause it to cease working properly. It's similar to when an app on your phone fails and stops working properly.

Overload or resource exhaustion: It may struggle to keep up if the TaskTracker becomes overburdened with too many tasks or runs out of resources such as memory or processing power. It's comparable to being overburdened with too many duties or running out of storage space on your gadget.

How to Overcome TaskTracker Failure

Update software and hardware on a regular basis: Keep the Hadoop framework and associated hardware up to date to correct bugs, errors, and performance issues that might lead to task failures.

Upgrade or replace hardware: If TaskTracker's hardware is outdated or insufficiently powerful, try upgrading or replacing it with more powerful components. It's equivalent to purchasing a new, upgraded computer to handle jobs more efficiently.

Restart or reinstall the program: If the TaskTracker software is causing problems, a simple restart or reinstall may be all that is required. It's the same as restarting or reinstalling an app to make it work correctly again.

Alright!! Moving forward, let us learn about JobTracker Failure.

JobTracker Failure

JobTracker in Hadoop is similar to a supervisor or manager that oversees the entire project and assigns tasks to TaskTrackers (employees). If a JobTracker fails, it signifies the supervisor is experiencing a problem or has stopped working properly. This can interrupt the overall project's coordination and development, much as when a supervisor is unable to assign assignments or oversee their completion. To avoid JobTracker failures, it is critical to maintain the JobTracker's hardware and software, ensure adequate resources, and fix any issues or malfunctions as soon as possible to keep the project going smoothly.

Now let us look at why JobTracker failure occurs and how to overcome this.

Reasons for JobTracker Failure

Here are some reasons for JobTracker failure.

Database connectivity: The JobTracker stores job metadata and state information in a backend database (usually Apache Derby or MySQL). JobTracker failures can occur if there are database connectivity issues, such as network problems or database server failures.

Security problems: JobTracker failures can be caused by security issues such as authentication or authorization failures, incorrectly configured security settings or key distribution and management issues.

How to Overcome JobTracker Failure

Avoiding Database Connectivity: To avoid database connectivity failures in the JobTracker, ensure optimized database configuration, robust network connections, and high availability techniques are implemented. Retrying connections, monitoring, and backups are all useful.

To overcome security-related problems: implement strong authentication and authorization, enable SSL/TLS for secure communication, keep software updated with security patches, follow key management best practices, conduct security audits, and seek expert guidance for vulnerability mitigation and compliance with security standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the failures in MapReduce?

There are two types of failures in MapReduce. Worker failure - occurs when the master sends the heartbeat to each worker node and if the master reschedules the task handled by the worker, and Master failure is when the whole MapReduce gets restarted by a different master.

What are the different types of failures in Hadoop?

The most common failures associated with Hadoop are NameNode failure, DataNode failure, JobTracker failure, TaskTracker failure, network failure, hardware failure, and software failure. These failures affect data availability, job execution, and the system's reliability.

What is the limitation of the MapReduce model?

The limitation of this model is due to more reliance on disk I/O for data processing which is slower than in-memory processing. The interactive and iterative algorithms are less effective because of the overhead of reading and writing data between the Map and Reduce phases.


In this article, you've learned about MapReduce, different types of failures in MapReduce, their reasons, and how to overcome them if you want to learn about MapReduce. 

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